Things I wish I knew before I started blogging
This past year has been filled with many learning lessons when it comes to. running a blog. Taylor Co. is something I've known I wanted to do for years but had no idea how much work goes into the daily operations behind the scenes. Whether you're thinking about starting your own blog this year or any other business venture, these six tips will help you start off on the right foot and be ready for business!
Blogging and influencing go hand and hand
I’ve always flirted with the idea of becoming an influencer but it felt like such an unrealistic achievement to me. Writing for me has always been with the goal to share the information I find worth sharing. It took me a while to realize that me sharing my ideas, values, and recommendations to people does in fact make me an influencer. Imposter syndrome constantly stops me from referring to myself as an influencer. I've always associated influencers with a large following, effortless posting, and endless brand deals. I had to realize that no influencer starts with 30k followers, brand deals and the posting isn't as effortless as it may seem. It opened my eyes to the world of micro-influencers filled with other bloggers like myself, YouTubers, podcasters, and more. We all are tied together under the influencer title because of what we do; we share information with the world with the hopes of people liking what we share and wanting to hear more from us. Once I embraced my blog on my social media and became a lot more open with sharing my content, that's when my numbers started to grow, people reached out to me more for advice and people followed my lead in places to go, things to do, life advice and more.
Successful people aren't lying, consistency is the key!
I used to roll my eyes when people would say “consistency is key!” when sharing advice. Yeah, we know but what’s the real advice. If I’ve learned anything this past year, it’s that consistency is 90% of the success when it comes to any business. When I first started posting on a biweekly basis but there would be times I missed my deadline. So two weeks turned to three weeks. And when I would really slack off three weeks would turn into a whole month since my last post. The biggest issue with inconsistency is that you risk slipping out of people’s interests. Some people may feel they cant depend on you for good content and some people may genuinely forget about you. Once I started posting more consistently I saw more consistent numbers and also a consistent growth in my numbers. I now post weekly because I personally feel like two weeks is too long of a cycle to hold people’s interest and I still find myself missing my 12 pm Monday mark. That’s where planning and accountability come into place.
Planning is everything!
Starting any business is time-consuming but I didn't realize just how much time would go into getting my blog up and running. When I first started my blog I had two posts already prewritten in case I got too overwhelmed during the school year to find time to write. Those two posts only held me over for the first month of blogging. Life gets crazy fast and it’s impossible to consistently push out quality content if you are working in real-time. Planning ahead is vital to the success of your blog or any business! Try to keep yourself one month ahead of the game. The biggest change I made was planning a month in advance. What made me realize I needed to start planning ahead was when I started planning everything I wanted to do to celebrate the 1-year mark of my blog. I started planning in early December and realized I should’ve started planning in October if I wanted to successfully space out regular content and content around the milestone. Within one week I had over a month of content outlined for myself. That month was way less stressful than any other month to produce content and all of my content came out on time.
Networking and support groups are your best friend
Networking is key to any form of success. I entered the blogging world with one friend who was already well into her blogging journey which helped me a lot. She was able to introduce me to other bloggers and programs that have helped me grow and find my place in the blogging community. Never underestimate the power, a connection with the right people can do for you. I always look for groups on Facebook and Instagram of like-minded people to join. These groups offer an array of things from support, advice, and tips that can truly change your business for the better.
you need a resume
Collaborating and reaching out to brands is part of being a blogger. When I reach out to them they want to know who I am, what my brand is, and my credentials. I keep all of this information in my Media Kit. A media kit is the "resume" you share with any businesses that you may be interested in working with. Having a media kit is important because:
1. It makes you look more professional and legit to brands
2. It holds the information and metrics for you so you aren’t coming up with numbers every time you want to reach out to a brand
3. It shows why a brand should work with you! It encompasses your past work, the services you offer, the following you have, etc.
Hiring a professional doesn’t mean you failed
One thing I did that helped my blog more than I could've imagined was work with a content curator. She looked at my website from a professional lens and offered me help in the aspects my website was lacking like web design layout and mission clarity. This doesn’t mean I’m a bad blogger or my original website was horrible. Sometimes the vision we hold for our business may be clear to us but doesn’t flow clearly when we explain it to others.
I talk more about my experience working with a content curator here but it ultimately showed me getting professional help for your businesses is always a great idea because it can help you avoid roadblocks and pitfalls you may have faced without them